Family Identifies Boater Pulled from Lake Minnetonka as Husband, Father

September 17, 2018 07:14 PM

Family members have identified the man whose body was located near the area of Big Island on Lake Minnetonka Sunday as Erick Barbieri-Astorga, 40, of Excelsior.


"I'm just worried about my mom especially because she's taking this really hard," his daughter Natalia Barbieri, 13, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

Family members say he died in a boating accident Saturday. But beyond that, they say they don't know much about how it happened. Neither the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department nor the medical examiner's office has issued the official identification.

Barbieri-Astorga's body was recovered within 150 feet of the area Hennepin County deputies had been searching for him and he was reported missing, the sheriff's department said Sunday. 

RELATED: Missing Boater on Lake Minnetonka Found Not Far from Where His Boat Was Found Doing 'Circle of Death'

Search crews set out again Sunday using divers, S.O.N.A.R. equipment and an underwater vehicle. About 16 hours after the man vanished, his body was found.

Authorities first learned something was amiss when a lakeside resident spotted a boat, with no one onboard, doing doughnuts and spinning in Cruiser's Cove - a popular bay where boaters tie up.

"My little sisters too," Natalia said as she described how she's worried for the future of her family. "They don't have as many memories as me and Elena. I just wish that they could have had more time with him because he loved them very much."

The family says Barbieri-Astorga was the family's primary provider. Barbieri-Astorga had four daughters with his wife, Denise.

They say the family spent the day together on the boat out on the lake Saturday. Barbieri-Astorga dropped everyone off at the dock in Excelsior and was alone as he was taking the boat back to the boat launch in Spring Park when he was lost.

"Everything is just… it's been rough. We are just going through the motions right now. We are supporting each other, we are doing the best we can right now," Erick's niece Claudia Barberi, 20, said. "It's really hard right now because we don't really know anything and it's really hard to see everyone just broken. And really hurt, like deep hurt," she added.

A GoFundMe page has been made by the family.


Frank Rajkowski

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